KVH V7-HTS: Twice the Speed & More Coverage

Frequent readers of this blog know we have become very dependent upon satellite communications. In fact, we have three different satellite technologies on board Dirona, as described in Communications at Sea. Here, we complete a quick survey of the satellite systems on Dirona, our experience with them, and why we upgraded to the KVH V7-HTS system four months ago. Our…

Dublin to Falmouth

We crossed 9,500 hours our John Deere 6068AFM75 main engine on the 243nm run from Dublin, Ireland to Falmouth, UK. This run would take us past the strong and sometimes dangerous currents off the most western tip of the UK at Land’s End, so we we left just before midnight to catch favourable tides. Conditions…

FPB Feature in CCA Chronicles

The following article by Linda and Steve Dashew appeared in Voyages, Chronicles of the Cruising Club of America, and puts …Read More


Envoy is berthed in Greece’s Lefkas Marina and we’re home in Auckland. Unfortunately circumstances prevent us returning to cruise in the Med this year.
This is the second part of an article we wrote published in Australasia’s Pacific PassageMaker magazine about starting the live-aboard cruising life.
OK from Part 1 we realise life’s time clock is ticking and we’ve faced the common fears. 
Once we decide to live the cruising life there are numerous practical issues to consider mostly falling somewhere into these categories:
Envoy anchored in Vathi, Astypaelia

How long will you be away each yearthe vast majority of cruisers (power and sail) see little point in sitting out the whole of their cruising region’s winter in a marina, particularly after doing it once, so they mostly return home to see their families and friends.An exception to this is that many European cruisers prefer the kinder winter weather in a location like the Med to that in their own country.

It’s great fun to be in a harbour or marina but we choose not to spend the whole winter there

How many years will you cruise forthe short answer is as long as you are enjoying it and health, funds and other circumstances permit. About five years would be typical and we’ve rarely met cruisers who’ve lived aboard for more than ten.

Dependent familymost of the cruising community are in the age group mid-50s to mid-70s without school-age children and cruisers living aboard with children are rare. When we started cruising we each had an elderly parent who accepted we were living our lives to the full, appreciated our weekly phone call and enjoyed our home visits.

Family and Friends – ofcourse you miss your family and close friends, but some may be able to visit you and share in your cruising experience. Otherwise being able to see them for at least one period of a few months during the year keeps these relationships intact.

Your family and friends can visit to share your adventures

Workmost cruisers we meet are semi or completely retired. Some do consulting work remotely or are able to find some casual work if they choose to. A fewer number of younger cruisers take time out from the work force intending to rejoin it later.

Your homesome cruisers elect to sell their house to provide funds for cruising while most others rent it out, get house sitters or leave it vacant.

Compatibility and confidence – some people may speculate you won’t get on well together as a couple spending so much time in the confines of a boat. Only you will know if this is correct or not and we probably all know people where this lifestyle would be doomed to failure. Allied to this issue is one partner having a lack of confidence in the other’s ability. If you’re passionate you’re half way there and your confidence will grow through sharing experiences together.

Healtha reasonable but not perfect standard of general health and fitness is required for the live-aboard life reinforcing the case for starting the cruising life sooner than later. Travel insurance is essential as medical treatment can be extremely expensive overseas.

PetsOverseas regulations concerning transportation and quarantine of pets are less strict than in New Zealand or Australia and some cruisers take their pets along. Similarly there are fewer restrictions on pets on beaches and in restaurants and cafes. Diane and I always had a dog or cat at home and loved them dearly, but prefer to avoid the hassles of having a pet aboard a boat.

Comfort aboard – this will of course vary by vessel. When yachtsmen come aboard Envoy they are amazed at the living space available compared to sailing vessels of the same length. We don’t get wet, cold or wind-blown and with our stabilisers Envoy’s motion is rarely lively enough to spill a coffee.

Comfort isn’t an issue aboard a well-found cruising boat – Envoy’s dinette and galley viewed from astern
Capital and living costs – the size, age and condition of your vessel determines its capital cost. Remember that bigger isn’t always better as larger vessels have dearer insurance, berthage and maintenance costs and can’t get into some of the smaller anchorages and harbours. Living costs such as food, beverages, household supplies and personal spending are about the same for us while cruising as when at home. Maintenance is dearer due to the higher cost of parts and greater distances travelled. There is also the cost of travel to and from our boat and additional fuel for the longer distances cruised. Casual marina prices are high in the Med so the best option is to anchor wherever possible, which is always free. Excluding living costs repairs and maintenance have been our largest cost averaging about six per cent of Envoy’s estimated value each year. Diane and I look at this not as “cost” but “investment in fun”.
Read PART 3 in about a week.

Dun Laoghaire

Two massive piers, built in the early 1800s, create a huge 250-acre (101-hectare) sheltered harbour at Dun Laoghaire (pronounced Dun Leary) near Dublin. Dun Laoghaire Marina is a large, 820-boat marina behind a second set of breakwaters within that protected harbour. Although the marina is outside Dublin proper, it has convenient train access to the…

Sylken Sea, Kadey Krogen 48-44 2018-03-16 20:46:00

In T&T $100 TT is approx $20 CDN, you need lots of them but the ATM will only give you $3K TT at a time. The machine must recognize we are using a NA card, must think we are American, charges $4.75 USD for the transaction (plus you will be charged …

Return to US

While in Dublin, we made a short return trip the US to attend the Amazon Web Services re:Invent conference, held annually in Las Vegas. We arrived into San Francisco, where we spent two nights and attended an NHL (ice hockey) and an NFL (football) game, before continuing on to Las Vegas. Most of the week…


Our little diva, aka Miss Dee Dee, is finding that having a little sister around can have it’s advantages. For one thing, she doesn’t have that frantic Lab food obsession. That means she is prone to leaving crumbs around after her treats. Dora has even…


The cliff walk along Howth Head Peninsula gives sweeping views south into Dublin Bay and the town of Howth. We could see Baily Lighthouse, on Howth Head Peninsula, from Dun Laoghaire and were eager to take in the view the other way. An easy direct train ride from Dun Laoghaire brought us to Howth, where…

Historic Dublin

Trinity College, in the middle of downtown Dublin, was founded in 1592 by Elizabeth I. In 1661 it became home to The Book of Kells, a lavishly illustrated Gospel manuscript and one of the oldest books in the world. The book was produced in the 9th century at the Iona Abbey in southwest Scotland, that…